Hey, What Do You Know? It’s Not Only Conservatives That Are Intolerant Of The Middle

I received an email from Ronald Daniels, regular Peach Pundit poster, alerting me to MoveOn.org’s activiites against Jim Marshall. Given that Mr. Daniels is an actual resident of GA-8, and that I figured he needed a break from law school, I asked him to write it up. The following is a guest post from one Mr. Ronald Edward Daniels, future esquire. The headline, however, I’ll take the blame for…

Apparently not only conservatives dislike Rep. Jim Marshall – liberal groups such as MoveOn.org are unhappy with him as well. Following Saturday night’s “historic” vote on healthcare reform – in which Marshall voted against the Obama-supported package and for the Stupack amendment – it is understandable why a self-proclaimed “progressive” organization such as MoveOn.org would be upset with Marshall.

In an email sent out by the Political Action arm of the organization earlier today described Marshall’s votes as “shameful.”

“Dear MoveOn member,

On Saturday night, the House made history by narrowly passing the big health care reform bill—but Representative Jim Marshall voted no.
And to make matters worse, he also helped pass an ugly amendment to the bill restricting a woman’s right to choose. In other words, he made the bill worse, then voted against it anyway.


To win the health care fight, we’ve got to show that politicians like Rep. Marshall will face a groundswell of grassroots opposition if they stand in the way of reform. Even if you’re not surprised, it’s critical that Rep. Marshall hear from you.

Can you call right now and tell him that you’re extremely disappointed with his vote?

Representative Jim Marshall
Phone: 202-225-6531

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Progressives in the House led the charge to strengthen and pass the bill, and President Obama personally lobbied swing Democrats like Rep. Marshall to vote for it in the final hours.

But, on the most important House vote in a generation, where was Rep. Marshall? Standing with the insurance companies. We should all remember that when reelection time rolls around.

Moreover, he sided with anti-choice extremists to vote for an amendment that would make abortion coverage virtually inaccessible for women in the new insurance exchange and bans such coverage in the public option.

As the health care fight moves to the Senate, we also need to send a clear signal to conservative Democratic senators. If they see that representatives who opposed reform pay a political price for it, they’ll think twice about joining a Republican filibuster.

Can you call Rep. Marshall’s office on Capitol Hill right now?

Representative Jim Marshall
Phone: 202-225-6531

After you call, let us know by clicking here:

Thanks for all you do.
–Nita, Noah, Kat, Michael, and the rest of the team”

It is my assumption a similar email was sent to subscribers in Rep. Barrow’s district as well.

Of interest is the line indicating potential for retribution during the next election cycle – the last primary challenger to face Rep. Marshall had a less than stellar outing. Conservatives have had difficulty knocking him out as well; the last challenger was handily defeated, although in the past several opponents have given Marshall a run for his money. In recent weeks a number of Republicans have entered the fray in an attempt to unseat Marshall next cycle; perhaps they should pay attention to this remark.

Several people noted in last year’s election that Jim Marshall plays both sides. His ads would sometimes appeal to Democrats and others would portray him as a conservative. Could Saturday’s vote have been the straw that broke the camel’s back? MoveOn seems to suggest so – indicating that he should receive a “groundswell of grassroots opposition.” Granted the organization has not substantially supported Marshall in the past with money, but could they be ready to help bankroll a primary challenger? Are liberals willing to sacrifice a quasi-consistent vote for a shot at a more “progressive” Congressman?

MoveOn’s email presents a very interesting question: If Conservatives hate Marshall and Liberals hate Marshall – how does he continue to get reelected?


  1. benevolus says:

    They need to be recruiting someone to run against him so they actually have someone else to vote for.

  2. Game Fan says:

    “To win the health care fight, we’ve got to show that politicians like Rep. Marshall will face a groundswell of grassroots opposition if they stand in the way of reform. Even if you’re not surprised, it’s critical that Rep. Marshall hear from you.”

    So why would any real grassroots need to be coached or prodded like this? As far as I can tell the only real grassroots is in the Paul camp which has plenty of progressives and classical liberals, not necessarily the big government type but rather the free market type, not the corporate type, definitely. The big joke here is Obama is big corporate/astro-turf all the way. The anti-war sentiment and other factors is how he got where he’s at.

    • So Obama is standing up to the insurance companies

      Exactly. I’m getting sick of hearing this. How is requiring everyone to have insurance, bad for insurance companies? Think GA Power and guaranteed profits. These people really do need to get a clue.

      • Just in case the lefties can’t read between the lines… THE BIG CORPORATIONS, INCLUDING THE BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES WANT MANAGED HEALTH CARE. They’ll be the ones running it (ever hear of government contracts), own your health and won’t ever have to worry about real competition in this industry ever again. Idiots!

        btw… I don’t live in the district and there probably won’t be a libertarian on the ballot due to access… so if I did live there , I’d most likely be supporting Valerie (aka, The Other Valerie). Marshall is ruled by the wind, not by principles.

  3. Andre says:

    Are liberals willing to sacrifice a quasi-consistent vote for a shot at a more “progressive” Congressman?

    The short answer to this question is an emphatic yes.

    The long answer draws from the words of GOP moderate Christine Todd Whitman:

    To these ideological zealots, unless you oppose every gun control measure–including assault-weapons bans–you’re not a real Republican. Unless you oppose abortion in every instance–including in cases of rape or incest–you’re not a real Republican.

    Too many of them would rather be ‘right’ than be in power.

    In other words, liberal organizations like MoveOn.org and Democracy for America would rather have an ideologically pure Democrat that supports Obama at every turn and toes the party line than maintain the current Democratic majority.

    It’s why they went after Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in 2006. Lieberman voted with the Senate Democratic Caucus over 90% of the time. But his support of the Iraq war lead to his primary challenge by Ned Lamont.

    One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s better to have 90% of something, than to get 100% of nothing.”

    Democrats John Barrow and Jim Marshall are 90% of something. If the liberal activists and bloggers ever get their way, and actually defeat those two Congressmen, then the Democratic Party will be stuck with 100% of nothing.

    • And it looks like I will reluctantly have to agree with you again.

      The numbers are embellished to some degree, I’m sure they are not fixed at such a clean 90% – but that really isn’t relative to the overall point. They count on Marshall’s vote in committees and on the less publicized votes, where he racks up most of his “liberal votes.” We saw just a few weeks ago what happens when the activists go after a candidate they feel is inadequate – and we all know how that turned out. If MoveOn and their ilk pushed an ultraLib in the GA-08 primary and somehow managed to knock out Marshall, they would find themselves likely losing a seat in the general. Call it bizzaro NY-23 if you will.

      Now while I do agree with you – I disagree in part. I think there are times when it becomes necessary to write someone off. While they may vote with you 80-90% of the time, if they continually buck you when you need them then it is worth the risk. Let’s talk hypothetically, what if Pelosi had lined up the votes and only had 217. She needed one more. She sets in on Marshall – but he refuses to yield. She finds the vote elsewhere. About a month later, another big vote comes up that is part of the Democrat platform – same conundrum. At some point you have to draw the line. Typing that reminds me of a portion of the book “Tell Newt to Shut Up!” in which the authors detail how Newt kept track of who took so called “allotment” votes.

      What I am getting at, and I guess I have done so in a very wordy fashion, is that perhaps yes it is better to have 90% of something – but there is no difference in 90% of something and 100% of nothing when you know you can not count on either.

      • Doug Deal says:


        The problem is, it is not always the same Rep. When you have 60 unreliable votes to use to get the extra 20 votes above the hard core to pass something, you only need 1/3 to go your way. When you have 0 unreliable votes and you are 40 short, too bad.

        It is a shame that trueconservatives(tm)(r)(c) are too myopic to see that getting a percentage of unreliable votes is better than get 100% of none. Moderates empower conservatives, since it gives them not only majorities, but a working margin.

        The same is true of the Pelosi House. Howard Dean’s decision to compete in every district with “conservative (less liberal)” Democrats gave them their margin.

        • Well naturally when you add in those facts it alters the situation. When you have 10 unreliable votes to get the extra 7, then the disposition of individual reps matters more.

          If one person continually brushes off party line votes, over a period of three terms and has let’s say a 60% voting record – you might want to take the risk. That’s all this is, risk calculations. When the benefit is less than the potential risk, then the logical thing to do is to take the risk. Plug whatever numbers into the situation that tickles your fancy DD. It’s going to have easy predictable results; unless the benefit is less than the risk – then you don’t kick the person out. Unless you don’t act rationally – like most political actors.

  4. seenbetrdayz says:

    This is what happens when you operate on a left-vs.-right spectrum. Marshall found himself blown by the changing winds of politics.

    On the other hand, if he breaks things down into a ‘freedom-vs.-control’ analysis, his commitments become much easier to recognize and stand by.

  5. John Konop says:

    Why not move this issue as well as the healthcare debate to the State? If a State wants a public option let it have one and if not let them stay 100% private. If a State does want to cover abortion let them do it.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Technically John, the issue is already at the state, according to the 10th Amendment. But yes, it does seem that having 50 states trying their own thing would offer more diversity than one giant umbrella plan that doesn’t welcome fresh ideas.

      What you suggest would more closely resemble a republic—which we once had.

      So, +1 for the Constitution.

  6. Sleepy Tom says:

    Never trust any lawyer who puts “ESQUIRE” at the end of their name. It’s a tell-tale sign of that person being full-of-“it”.

  7. Holly says:

    Hm, let’s think about how well this would work:

    A 10/26/09 Gallup poll found that 20% of Americans consider themselves “liberal.” This is compared to 40% who consider themselves “conservative” and 36% who consider themselves “moderate.” A purist Democratic Party is even less likely to maintain a majority than a purist Republican Party, and we see how that idealism is working out for us. . .

    Say what you will about Pelosi, she was smart to allow the recruitment of Blue Dogs, which is why the Democrats hold 258 seats out of 435. With 258 votes, it’s pretty easy to get to 218, even with terrible legislation.

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